Impact of COVID-19 Stressors on College Student Mental Health and Coping
Adam Volungis, Ph.D.
We examined the relationship between college student mental health (i.e., depression, anxiety, stress/trauma, loneliness) and COVID-19 Stressors among 100 undergraduate college students. Participants complete the COVID-19 Scale, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21, UCLA Loneliness Scale-3, Post-traumatic Checklist-5, and Brief COPE Scale. Preliminarily analyses showed that the more students attributed their personal distress to COVID-19 experiences, the higher their reported social-emotional distress was. This included symptoms of depression and anxiety, feelings of loneliness, and trauma symptoms. Initial analyses also indicate that particular coping styles moderated the relationship between COVID-19 experiences and social-emotional distress. In other words, this relationship may be enhanced (e.g., high frequency and intensity of maladaptive coping styles) or diminished (e.g., high frequency and intensity of adaptive coping styles). Overall, these findings can inform assessment at recognizing the ongoing distress many students continue to experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, interventions can be enhanced by reinforcing adaptive coping skills unique to COVID-19 associated stressors.